iOS Music Apps Weekend

I just received an email from about their Christmas by Newzik app. If you like singing and playing Christmas songs form your iPad this app could be worth checking out. Especially since it will be free on the 18th and 19th of December, 2011. Notion’s notation app is only $0.99 until the 21st of December.

If you have not heard about the new music notation app from Notion you should head over to and read ChoirGuys comparison of Notion to SymphonyPro. The fact that Notion actually has a notation software for Mac and Windows means that the iPad is going to be looked at as a viable option for creating music notation from. I would love to have this app and a set of iPads in the hands of students!

ChoirGuy also mentions that one of the apps I’ve used in the past for accessing my PDF music on my iPad is soon coming out with an update. DeepDish GigBook is adding annotation to their app. This means that this app will be as useful to musicians, students, performers and educators as ForScore and UnRealBook!

I have been using Avid Scorch’s iPad app Scorch through this Christmas season while performing and rehearsing for our Christmas concerts. I have really liked the ability to be able to pull up any one individual part at any time. I also appreciate the fact that Scorch does not rely on scanning quality. The score you are seeing is of great quality! The lack of annotation has been an issue though. I’ve really wanted to mark my scores up during rehearsal so I would remember certain key elements but I’ve not been able to do that while using Scorch. I wonder if Avid could figure out a way for us to even highlight something in the Scorch files. (Are you out there Tom?)

I will be glad to see Sibelius come out with an iPad notation app in the future. I’m sure it will happen. In the mean time Notion and Symphony Pro serve the purpose for that gap. Of course you should buy Notion now! Along with Newzik’s Christmas app.

UPDATE: As you can see from the comments before it was brought to my attention that Notion could be a large app! So I took a look at the size’s and download times. When I started downloading Notion onto my iPad it was 6:58. at 7:28 I finally stopped the iPad download! It wasn’t done for some reason 30 minutes after I started it! I just copied it onto my iPad from iTunes – that took almost 5 minutes just to do that! When I started putting Notion onto my iPad I had 5.6GB free and now I have 3.8GB free. So this app is going to take up a lot of space compared to other iPad apps. Almost makes me fell like I am working with a desktop application!

I will say that the playback on Notion is very nice. I am sure this is the reason for the large file size of the app. Notion is very simple to use and pretty quick to get notes into the app too. You get 5 string instruments, 9 woodwinds, 6 brass, 4 keyboards , 3 guitars, a Drum set, Tamborine, Snare Drum, Sus. Cym, Cr. Cym, Bass Drum, Timpani and a Xylophone for free that come installed. There are four more stringed instruments you can download for free. There are a bunch of other instruments that will cost you $0.99 to download. You get basically one of every instrument you might need.

As I was entering notes I did notice that Notion will allow you to enter more beats per measure than your time signature is set for. This was a bit weird as I am used to working with Sibelius where this isn’t allowed. This means that students could end up with some messed up music!

It was very different as I went to enter notes into a trumpet part the first time too. Even though I was playing a B on the keyboard Notion was writing a C# on the music. I did not expect this as the Key Signature for all the staves were the same. I understand that a Trumpet should be a whole step higher than the piano but at the same time the key signature should be different as well. I had to go in and set the Key Signature before the Trumpet key appeared different.

There are some very nice technique markings that Notion has included. For instance flutter Tongue on trumpet. Those markings playback as well.

4 thoughts on “iOS Music Apps Weekend

  1. Yikes! That would be crazy! I have 5.6GB free right now on my iPad. I am going to load Notion in just a minute. I will check and see what it takes up.

    I did notice that it is taking something like 14 minutes to download – and that is on my laptop! I’m glad you mentioned this Brandt!

    I started downloading Notion onto my iPad at 6:58 – not really sure why I downloaded it on my laptop first and then started the same download on my iPad. I should have just waited I guess!

  2. I’ve been using Notion for the ipad. It’s a great app for composing. You get an entire orchestra at your fingertips so there are many options for quality audio sounds. I’m not only learning a lot about writing notation but I am now composing scores. Love this app!

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